Agricultural values are down in San Diego for the first time in three years.
The new Ag Report from the County says San Diego crop and commodity values fell three percent in 2021, to 1.8 billion dollars, dropping for the first time since 2018.
Avocados declined in value to less than 100 million for the first time in at least 25 years, falling from 153 million to 83 million, and dropping out of the top-10 crops in San Diego for the first time since 2003.
The report says increasingly high costs of water, the extended drought, and a hot, dry growing season led to some of the decline, along with labor issues and the pandemic.
And for the first time in a dozen years, San Diego County has a new top crop.
For the past 12 years, "Ornamental Trees and Shrubs" had been the county's number one crop, but in 2021 it was replaced by "Bedding Plants, Color & Perennials, Cacti & Succulents," which ranked second in the previous two crop reports.
Ornamental Trees and Shrubs dropped by 11.5% in the new report, from $432,039,762 to $382,387,500.
Bedding Plants, Color & Perennials, Cacti & Succulents increased 13.1% in value to $488,376,727 - the highest value ever for a top crop in San Diego County.
The commodity that earned the biggest increase in value in the report was Livestock and Poultry products, which jumped by 36%, from roughly $41 million to nearly $55.4 million. "Honey & Beeswax" suffered the biggest percentage decrease in value, falling 85%, from $516,890 in 2020 to $79,023 in 2021.